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Swamp Canyon Geology

Looking south, Mud and Noon Canyon Buttes can be seen. Buttes are halfway along the erosional continuum between plateau and pinnacle. Plateaus are large regions of uplifted land. Mesas are isolated portions of plateaus that, although much smaller than plateaus, are still wider than they are tall. As mesas erode they give birth to buttes, which are square shaped, being approximately the same width as they are tall. As buttes erode still further they spawn spires of rocks.

At Bryce, our spires, known as hoodoos, are of a very special variety. The classic way a hoodoo forms begins with a narrow fin of rock that eventually develops holes or windows. As the windows grow they become arches. Eventually arches become too large to support their roofs. The inevitable collapse of a window leaves behind two broken legs of the arch. At Bryce we call broken arches hoodoos.

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